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Mitchell brings home three silver medals as Canton girls finish fourth in Class S

Canton freshman Chelsea Mitchell finished second in two individual events and ran on Canton’s silver medal 4×100 relay team at Thursday’s Class S championships in New Britain.

NEW BRITAIN, June 1 – It was so close Thursday in the 100 meters at the Class S championships.

Canton freshman Chelsea Mitchell and Weaver’s Tiandra Robinson raced each other down the straightaway at Veteran’s Memorial Stadium. Both learned at the line but it was Robinson who won the race and the state championship by 0.01 of a second.

Mitchell finished with a season-best time of 12.32 seconds – good enough for a silver medal. Mitchell also finished second in the 200 meters and ran on Canton’s 4×100 relay team (Sophia Langou, Madeline Archangelo, Emily Mitchell, Chelsea Michell) that finished second to lead the Warriors to a fourth place finish at the Class S championship meet.

It is the best finish ever for the Canton High girls track and field program at the Class S meet. It capped off an outstanding season that saw the Warriors go undefeated in the dual meet portion of the schedule (12-0) and grab a share of their first-ever North Central Connecticut Conference championship.

The Warriors had a school record 38 points in the event and did it without injured senior Amber Harraden, who had to withdraw from the 400 meters and 300 hurdles races after hurting her leg in last week’s NCCC championship meet. Harraden tried to throw the shot from a standing position and finished 18th.

The Canton High boys track and field team wasn’t as deep as it has been in the past and finished ninth with 26 points – their lowest finish since taking 12th in 2009. Third place finishes from Max Sparks (1,600 meters) and Dustin Van Kirk (300 hurdles) led the boys team.

Canton’s Max Sparks had a pair of top five finishes at Thursday’s Class S championship meet in New Britain.

Chelsea Mitchell had best time of the season in the 100 meters in the preliminary round – 12.52 seconds. She ran even faster in the final. Mitchell and Robinson were literally neck and neck in the final 25 meters of the race.

In the 200 meters, Bloomfield’s Cheyenne Brown held off a late surge from Mitchell to win the event with a time of 26.04 seconds. Mitchell was second in 26.15 seconds.

Canton’s 4×100 relay was second with a time of 50.80 seconds, just beating Weaver (51.04) while Bloomfield won the race in 48.65. The Warhawks were dominant as always, winning a tenth straight Class S championship and beating runnerup Immaculate-Danbury by a whopping 99 points, 163-62. Old Saybrook was third with 49 points with Canton taking fourth.

Canton’s 4×800 relay team (Emily Briggs, Helena Winkler, Jane Frawley, Abby Briggs) knocked 12 seconds off their previous best time of the year and took fourth with a time of 10:07.76. Abby Skinner finished fifth in the high jump (4-10) while Madeline Archangelo was sixth in the 300 hurdles in 51.07.

Other top 10 finishes came from Canton’s 4×400 relay team (Sophia Langou, Madeline Archangelo, Jane Frawley, Abby Briggs), which was seventh with a time of 4:24.13, Winkler (5:48.16) who was ninth in the 1,600 meters, Frawley (5:49.61), who was tenth in the 1,600 and Emily Mitchell, who was tenth in the long jump with a leap of 16-1½.

Dustin Van Kirk gives it his all in the long jump competition at the Class S championships in New Britain.

Van Kirk rebounded from a rough start. He had the second fastest time in qualifying in the 110 hurdles with a time of 15.45 seconds.

But in the finals, he tripped on a hurdled and literally did a somersault as he hit the ground and popped right back up. The field pulled away as Van Kirk finished eighth with a time of 17.84 seconds. Teammate Chaz Williams took fifth in 16.61 seconds.

Van Kirk had no time to mope about what could have been. He competed in the 300 hurdles and the long jump. In the 300 hurdles, Van Kirk finished third with a time of 41.03 seconds while Williams was eighth with a time of 43.63 seconds. Sacred Heart’s Edward Williams swept both hurdles races, beating NVL rival Marckens Augustene of Holy Cross by 0.50 of a second to win the Class S title.

In the long jump, Van Kirk finished seventh with a leap of 40-7¾ feet.

Max Sparks won a pair of medals for the Warriors, taking third in the 1,600 meters with a time of 4:25.98 and finishing fifth in the 3,200 meters with a time of 9:49.54.

Canton’s Andy Obruzut reaches back for the baton from Anthony Burns in the 4×400 relay Thursday at the Class S championships.

Canton’s 4×400 relay (Anthony Burns, Andrew Obrzut, Brad Connelly, Max Epstein) finished seventh with a time of 3:37.39. Other top 10 finishes came from Aidan O’Donnell (10th in 3,200) and Patrick Lagonigro, who finished tenth in the high jump.

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 30 years.

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